Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Have you ever felt like you were chasing something elusive?  Something that maybe you just made up in your mind and it doesn't really exist?  I've been chasing this cake since I was 12.  That's a long time.  But with the Easter holiday just passed the quest for this cake came around again.  You see, most years when I was a child, my family would spend Easter in St. George Ut.  Granted this is the same location that gave me my intense dislike of Easter Egg hunts, but it also brought my love for a good Poppy seed Cake.  Every Easter Sunday my family would get all gussied up in our Easter finest, head over to church, and then as soon as it was over, we'd pile into the enormous custom van and head to Vegas baby!  There we'd head to the long line at Caesar's Palace for their famed Sunday Brunch.  I remember my mom always saying how we had just been to Heaven with our Sacrament Service, and now here we were standing in the middle of Babylon.  Hell to be exact.  You know if the end of the world was going to come that day we probably would have been right in the middle of it, but it didn't and I got to eat another few Poppy Seed cakes to last me until the next year.  I took James there on our honeymoon.  He didn't like it, and needless to say I haven't been back to Vegas in 20 years!  So it has been a 20 year draught for these cakes!

They were so moist and delicious, and mini.  You could eat quite a few.  They were baked in a mini muffin tin and were so tasty.  So for years now I've tried a lot of recipes.  Ones out of cake mixes.  Ones with pudding added in.  You name it,  I've tried it.  But last week I gave it another shot.  This was a winner!  Perfection!!  Nothing funky, or fancy, just straight goodness.  I made this cake in a bundt pan, but muffins would work, or two loaves would be lovely too.  So here's to Easter miracles!

Lemon Poppy seed Cake
recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
(I owe her my firstborn for this recipe!  Thanks Christy!)

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/8 cups cooking oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 T. poppy seeds
zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Note you can substitute almond extract in the cake and omit the lemon zest if you want an Almond Poppy seed cake.  It would be lovely!

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into greased and floured 12 c. bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes.   Insert thin knife in center and make sure it isn't doughy.  The top should spring back when touched.  My cakes usually take 75 minutes.

For the Glaze: Pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and let cook on stove on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Let boil 1 minute.  Remove cake from pan and pour glaze over warm bread. I actually use a pastry brush and brush it on.


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